Riku continues to grow in his quest to become one of the strongest players in GBN. Guess that means it’s time for his master to crush him in battle. Wait, what?? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. After last week, Yukki’s still working on building his new Gunpla so this episode decides to focus on the story’s lead, Riku. A lot of shows like this have a glaring weakness where they tend to only focus on the lead, but Divers has actually given a bit of shine to almost everyone so far, so it’s good to go back to him for a bit. Next week’s episode centers even gives us a glimpse into Momoka, who not only brings a necessary cheerful attitude to the group, but has also been the quiet MVP for a while and has been needing an episode of her own. Plus, presumably the longer we go without seeing Yukki’s new Gunpla the more impressive it’ll be when all is said and done. After all, Riku’s suit undergoes quite the upgrade this week…
2. After Riku runs a particular mission in a quick enough time to land in the server’s Top 10 (placing him alongside Tigerwolf, Shahryar, and Kyoya), Tigerwolf gets motivated enough to challenge Riku to a match. Tigerwolf holds an annual battle competition at his Force Nest known as the Ryukosai, and he personally invites Riku there so they can battle. In a refreshing turn of pace this is probably the most like Build Fighters/Try that Gundam Build Divers has ever been. No quests, no weird fake drug dealers, and no mini-raid bosses. It’s just one person challenges another to a fight and them beating the crap out of one another for half the episode.
3. Even though I could kind of see where Tigerwolf was coming from, he still came off like a dick in this episode. For one thing, it’s flat out weird to have the master challenge the student and not the other way around.
Surprisingly absolutely no one, Riku gets thrashed around like Teen Gohan before Cell stomped the head of someone Gohan never met into computer chips. He gets some decent hope spots in, including defending against Tigerwolf’s special technique, but none of its enough. They match never feels close, as everytime Riku comes back with a technique that’s a little cool, Tigerwolf immediately quashes any momentum. Riku does everything from reveal a brand new close-combat mode to Gundam 00-Sky, to utilize some special wrist-mounted weaponry to fight against Tigerwolf–it all seems more like a minor annoyance than a proper threat.
Eventually, Tigerwolf unveils a new secret to GBN–special techniques can have different “versions” to them, granting you multiple special moves. With that, he smacks Riku with several new abilities and leaves the 00-Sky barely functioning. Still, Riku does unlock a special move of his own, using Trans-am Infinity to turn his beam saber into a Super Robot-esque long sword that shatters all of Tigerwolf’s armor…then causes the 00-Sky to overload after it’s already had the crap kicked out of it.
Tigerwolf goes on to brag about his victory but…who cares? He beat someone who didn’t know how to play just a few months ago. I wanted to be on his side for Riku to learn another lesson, but this was just all about ego. He’d talked to Magee earlier in the episode saying he would fight Riku, then Shahryar, and work his way up to the Champion. If someone viewed those words in another light, he pretty much just wanted a warm up…but did he have to invite an entire crowd for that?
4. Once again the post-credits scene comes back to the creators of the game attempting to track a bug similar to that of the break decals. This time they’ve noticed the bug is actually moving around, which actually leaves me wondering whether Sarah’s the bug herself, or merely connected to it. After all, that golden bird that keeps following her around can’t bode well.
Then again, it could be Trans-Am Infinity, which seems pretty hack-tastic in terms of ability, but that’s unlikely since they’re very likely going to try and make Trans-Am Infinity a new toy, and it probably wouldn’t do to have your hero’s new ability get thrown out by the end of the show.
5. Next Episode: I’m not necessarily in agreement with the idea that things have “gotten too serious” so we need a break episode, but I do like Momoka and think she deserves a focus episode of her own. So instead of focusing on Riku and Yukki’s never-ending battle to become the strongest, we’re shifting over to another side quest of GBN, a girls-only race. This could either be a lot of fun, really patronizing, or a questionable mix of both. Knowing anime like I do, I’m going with the latter, unfortunately.
Gundam Build Divers is available on Crunchyroll and Bandai’s GundamInfo YouTube channel.